Local Farmers Markets

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Every year, thousands of residents throughout Central Virginia patiently await the start of the growing season as they pursue fresh and delicious “Virginia Grown” products at Farmers Markets throughout the area. But Farmers Markets are more than finding fresh produce. They also provide the opportunity to greet a blend of farm, food and artisans plus friends and neighbors in a fun atmosphere that’s close to home.
 
Now that it is mid-June, you can find a vast array of produce at the peak of freshness, including beets, blackberries, blueberries, cabbage, cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, raspberries, squash and a variety of herbs. Still available, but just about at the end of their growing cycle, are asparagus, greens/spinach, onions and strawberries.  Coming up in July, you’ll start seeing apples, cantaloupes, eggplant, nectarines, peaches, sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelons.  If you’re unfamiliar with Virginia’s growing season, you can print out a handy Virginia Fruit and Vegetable Availability Calendar from www.virginiagrown.com.
 
June is Dairy Month
Many of the local Farmers Markets offer dairy products to the consumer and reporting this in June is appropriate, since Governor Bob McDonnell proclaimed June as Dairy Month in Virginia. “Milk consistently ranks as one of the top commodities in Virginia,” said McDonnell. “In 2010 it was number three.” (Rankings for all commodities for 2011 are not in yet.)  “The state’s largest industry is agriculture,” the Governor added, “and in 2010, fluid milk yielded $332 million in cash receipts.  That’s a lot of milk, and that figure doesn’t include cheese, ice cream, milk powder, butter or other dairy products.” 
 
With 227 dairy farms, nearby Rockingham County placed first among Virginia’s top six ranking dairy counties according to the number of licensed dairy farms during 2011. Augusta County came in third.
 
Largest Industry in Virginia 
This may come as a surprise to some, but agriculture is still Virginia’s largest industry by far, and according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, no other industry comes a close second. The agricultural industry has an economic impact of $55 billion annually and provides more than 357,000 jobs in Virginia. The industries of agriculture and forestry combined have a total economic impact of $79 billion and provide more than 500,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. Every job in agriculture and forestry supports 1.5 jobs elsewhere in the Virginia economy. 
 
Production agriculture employs nearly 60,000 farmers and workers in Virginia and generates approximately $2.9 billion in total output. Value-added industries, those that depend on farm commodities, employ an additional 76,000 workers and generate $26 billion in total industrial output. Agriculture-related industries contribute an additional 221,000 jobs and nearly $26 billion in total output. 
 
In looking at the Virginia Farm Profile, you’ll see that:
  • Virginia has more than 47,000 farms. 
  • The typical Virginia farmer is 58.2 years old. Nearly 30 percent of farmers are 65 years of age or older. 
  • The average farm size is 171 acres and has assets worth more than $1 million. 
  • Farms cover 8.1 million acres, or 32 percent of Virginia’s total land area. 
  • Approximately 14 percent of Virginia’s primary farm operators are female. 
  • The average market value of an acre of Virginia farmland is $4,213. 
  • About 90 percent of Virginia farms are owned and operated by individuals or families. 
  • About 25 percent of Virginia farms share the farm income with multiple households.
Honoring and Preserving Virginia’s Farms 
Since the first settlers landed at Jamestown nearly 400 years ago and planted crops to sustain themselves through the winters to come, agriculture has been at the heart of Virginia. Today, descendants of these first farmers continue to produce food and fiber on the same land as their forefathers. 
 
The Virginia Century Farm Program recognizes and honors those farms that have been in operation for at least 100 consecutive years and the generations of Virginia farm families whose diligent and dedicated efforts have maintained these farms, provided nourishment to their fellow citizens and contributed so greatly to Virginia’s economy.
Over 1200 farms have been recognized as Virginia Century Farms, including seven in Albemarle; seven in Fluvanna; two in Greene; twenty-six in Louisa; eighteen in Madison; and eight in Orange. 
 
In 2001, the Virginia General Assembly established the Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP) within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help reverse the loss of farmland to development. OFP has five missions: to work with other governmental and private organizations to help establish and support local purchase of development rights (PDR) programs; to create programs to educate the public about the importance of farmland preservation; to help farmers with farmland preservation efforts; to assist local governments in developing additional farmland preservation policies and programs; and to administer the Virginia Farm Link program—www.vafarmlink.org—which brings together aspiring and retiring farmers. 
 
To date, OFP has allocated a total of $4.75 million in state matching funds to 15 local PDR programs.  Of the $4.75 million allocated, $1.21 million has been used so far to help protect 1,007 acres of farm and forestland.  OFP also has provided almost $25,000 over the last year to Virginia Cooperative Extension to help fund farm transition workshops for farm families and their service providers.  
 
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages residents to Buy Local all year long, promoting the idea that when you buy from local farmers, you get maximum freshness, taste and nutrition because your food travels far less from farm to table. Visit their website, www.VirginiaGrown.com, to locate farm fresh foods and beverages, plus plants, gifts, wool and other non-edible items.
 
Meanwhile, here is a list of Farmers Markets in our readership area. This was taken from the list of Farmers Markets on the VDACS website, but as some of it had not been updated in awhile, be sure to verify location and hours before venturing out. 
 
Bring the family and come out in support of these folks who bring you the very best in “Virginia Grown” items, fresh to your table. Your support helps to keep our incredible farming culture alive and well.
 
Albemarle County
 
Crozet Farmers Market
1156 Crozet Avenue
Crozet, VA 22932
Contact: Janet House
Website: www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets
Features: produce and flowers
Open:  Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon through October.
 
Earlysville Farmers Market
600 Earlysville Green
Earlysville, VA 22936
Contact: Wendy Russo, 434-978-2058
Email: evillefarmersmkt@embarqmail.com
Open: Thursdays, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. through October.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Forest Lakes Farmers Market
1650 Ashwood Blvd.
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Contact: Dawn Story, 434-977-2033
Email: dawn@newmoonnaturals.com
Website: www.facebook.com/ForestLakesFarmersMarket
Features: local farmers, crafters and bakers together in one place, rain or shine!
Open: Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. through October.
 
Scottsville Community Farmers Market
Corner of Valley & Main Streets
Scottsville, VA 24590
Contact: Wendy Edwards, 434-996-8144
Email: scottsvillepavilion@gmail.com
Website: http://goscottsvilleva.com/
Features:  Locally grown produce, including tomatoes, corn, beans, potatoes, squash, eggplant, peaches, apples, berries and watermelon, as well as plants, flowers, baked goods, local beef, poultry and more.
Open: Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through October.
 
Augusta County

Staunton/Augusta Farmers Market
Wharf Parking Lot
Staunton, VA 24402
Contact: Tom Womack, 540-448-1937
Email: stauntonaugustafarmersmarket@gmail.com
Website: www.safarmersmarket.com
Features: They are a producer-only farmers market with all types of vegetables, baked goods, eggs and meats.
Open: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon through Thanksgiving.
 
City of Charlottesville
 
Charlottesville City Market
South & Water Street parking lot
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Contact: Stephanie Anderegg-Maloy, 434-970-3371
Email: maloy@charlottesville.org
Website: www.charlottesvillecitymarket.com
Features: Fresh produce, herbs plants, meats, baked goods, eggs, cheese and more.
Open: Saturdays, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon through October.
 
Farmers in the Park
Meade Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Contact: Stephanie Anderegg-Maloy, 434-970-3260
Email: maloy@charlottesville.org
Website: www.charlottesville.org
Open: Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. through September.
 
City of Waynesboro
 
Waynesboro Farmers Market
215 W. Main Street 
(Downtown Pavilion at Constitution Park)
Waynesboro, VA 22980
Contact: Jim Coate, 540-466-6479
Email: manager@waynesborofarmersmarket.org
Website: www.shenandoahrcd.org/WFM.htm
Features: vegetables and fruits in season, honey, wine, baked goods, cheese, eggs, meats, vinegars, plants and flowers. Children’s activities and music are provided. See website for specific activities and schedules.
Open: Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. through September. 
 
Culpeper
 
Culpeper Downtown Farmers Market
E. Davis & Commerce Streets
Culpeper, VA 22701
540-825-4416
Email: criinfo@culpeperdowntown.com
Website: www.culpeperdowntown.com/shoppinganddining.cfm
Open: Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon
 
Fluvanna County
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fluvanna Farmers Market
Route 53, Pleasant Grove
Palmyra, VA 22963
Contact: John Thompson
Features: farm market with craft and meats as well as produce. Operates under a strict “local only” rule—everything is from Fluvanna or a contiguous county. 
Open: Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. through October.
 
Zion Crossroads Farmers & Flea Market
78 Zion Park Court 
(Crossroads Home Court)
Troy, VA 22974
434-906-4138
Email: farmandflea@yahoo.com
Features: Fresh produce, fresh and locally grown flowers, fresh meat, crafts, antiques, baked goods and more.
Open: Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
 
Greene County
 
Greene County Farmers Market
10415 Spotswood Trail
(Greene County Technical 
Education Center School)
Stanardsville, VA 22973
Contact: Cathryn Kloetzli, 434-958-5236
Email: cathrynk@vt.edu
Open: 3rd week in June to the 3rd week in September; 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
 
Louisa County
 
Louisa Farmers Market
213 E. Main Street
Louisa, VA 23093
Contact: Mark Bailey
Phone: 540- 967-1400
Email: louisatownmanager@verizon.net
Website: www.louisatown.org
Features: produce, crafts, flowers, meats, eggs and cheese. 
Open: Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon through September.
 
Mineral Farmers Market
81 Louisa Avenue 
(Across from Luck Field)
Mineral, VA 23117
Contact: Becky Vigon, 540-854-7626
Email: market@townofmineral.com
Website: www.mineralmarket.org
Features: Wide variety of fresh, local produce, meats, eggs, baked goods, sauces, preserves, honey and nursery items, berries, asparagus, snap peas, lettuce, herbs and more.
Open: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., May through October.
 
Madison County
 
Madison County Farmers Market
542 Fairground Road 
(Hoover Park next to Madison Primary School)
Madison, VA 22727
Contact: Brad Jarvis, 540-948-6881
Email: bjarvis@vt.edu
Open: Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon through October.
 
Nelson County
 
Nelson Farmers Market Co-Op
Route 151, downtown Nellysford under the white tent
Nellysford, VA 22958
Contact: Sherry Huffer, 434-244-2399
Website: www.nelsonfarmersmarket.com
Features: Locally grown produce, meat, eggs, cheese, plus high-quality arts and crafts, plus live music, local dancers and demonstrations.
Open: Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon through October.
 
Orange County
 
Eastern Orange County Farmers Market
32345 Constitution Highway
Locust Grove Town Ctr.
Locust Grove, VA 22508
Contact: Bobbi Collyer, 540-212-3738
Email: easternorangecountyfarmersmarket@gmail.com
Features: seasonal produce, hanging baskets, bedding plants, herbs, heirloom plants, jams and jellies, herbal vinegars, local beef, peaches, apples and honey.
Open: Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through October.
 
Orange County Farmers & Artisans Market
Faulconer Parking Lot
Route 15 North of Town
Orange, VA 22960
540-672-2540
Email: director@orangedowntownalliance.org
Open: Wednesdays, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. Taylor Park on Main Street and Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Municipal Parking Lot through November.
  • CuriousB

    The Eastern Orange Farmer’s Market starts May 4, 2014, and runs 9-2 through October.

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